hey, you remember that one facebook post?

 

I’m not really sure how to start this

or where I’m going with it

 

I didn’t do so well today, overall

and I’ve been thinking about why

Not really intentionally

 

actually

I had considered whether or not I should think about it, and had decided not to

I had decided to just go to sleep

and try again tomorrow

 

I was feeling a little emotionally vulnerable, maybe

And went over to the main house to visit my parents for a bit

Seeking social contact

connection

 

It was, perhaps, not well thought out

they were watching the news

 

Stuff happened

people got irritated

I got sad

I went to bed

which made them sad

 

And I very nearly started crying

 

I had a cigarette

and considered writing here in the server about it

making my attempts to feel better public, and therefore kind of forcing myself to feel better

 

But then I thought

“I just can’t, not right now”

“Isn’t that giving up, though, Brooke? Isn’t that exactly the kind of thing I’ve been talking about so much on here?”

“It’s okay to just need sleep, Brooke.”

 

And I left it at that, stubbed out my cigarette, and went to cuddle with my cats.

 

And as I lay there

I kept catching my brain

doing this thing

that I’ve noticed the few other times I’ve been genuinely Sad or Upset over the past few months

 

Which is having one thought about one thing that makes me sad

and then, without consciously directing my brain to go there

that being followed, nonetheless

by another thought

somewhat related

that also makes me sad

 

And each time, the sadness gets compounded

grows in weight

 

I have been talking a lot about anger, here in this server

but only because I’ve been feeling passionate a lot lately

and anger feels more similar to passion in terms of the energy levels of each state, or something

than sadness does to passion

 

But I’ve always personally tended towards sadness over anger

 

but anyway

 

I’ve been working on trying to be aware of thoughts that I have

as I have them

in a way that allows me to be better at understanding the way that they affect me, emotionally

and to better understand the way trains of thought like that can end up in this crazy runaway sort of progression

 

Building in intensity

 

And trying to develop my ability to slow that roll

 

to turn my mind in other directions

regain control of my inner emotional vehicle, so to speak

 

And I was doing that, just now

partially out of habit

partially out of self defense

and partially because I knew that if I let them

my emotions would get out of control

and then I’d never be able to sleep

 

That was hyperbole.

 

Wouldn’t be able to sleep until that inner storm

that inner pressure

had built up until it imploded somehow, was released- by crying or something

or until I had exhausted myself with anxiety and fell asleep despite it

 

So, I kept telling those thoughts

“No. Not right now. Later, yes. But not right now, okay?”

 

And somehow started thinking about the stuff I wrote today about the pandemic

I think in a way that helped me identify the mistake I’d made about that writing, today

 

I foreshadowed this thought with what I said in one of the DM channels, about wanting to be more right, instead of less wrong

and also in a discussion in the Truth or Dare Hall

about one of the Truths I was asked

where I said that I didn’t think about people in terms of those I am Least Happy with, anymore

 

So, given that

why did I choose to talk about the current state of affairs

in terms of anger

instead of empathy?

 

Such are the mysteries of the human mind.

 

Part of this path that I am choosing to find

choosing to walk even as I look for it

 

Has been to make an effort to focus on ways to make things better

instead of on identifying all the ways that I think things are bad

 

Had I been more conscious of that

today might not have gone the way it did

 

But now

I’ve put that feeling

into words, made it a thought

 

Made it real

 

Made it understandable

and voiced it to myself in a way that might allow me to react that much more effectively

to any given number of situations

from here on out

 

That was a guideline, before

in my mind

 

A vague, less than conscious sort of understanding

Now it shall be Law

 

But that’s another category

 

All these things

Laws, rules, guidelines, etc.

I have formulated in retrospect

 

By ponderin’ about what I feel already

By thinking about what already works, or does not

 

Talking about how we should be Less Angry

is not useful

 

Regardless of how ultimately accurate I feel that statement to be

 

It is the kind of thing which I classify as a ‘complaint’ in my mind

werd which I have a pretty specific definition for

 

I’ll probably go into more detail on that later

but, in brief

I think of a complaint

as anything that serves no realistic purpose

beyond making others feel worse

beyond sharing my negativity 

with those around me

so that I feel less of it, myself

 

Constructive criticism is, I feel like

only really constructive

if it comes with an alternative solution to the thing being criticized

 

maybe?

 

I just feel like

whenever I am doing nothing beyond pointing out a problem other people already see as a problem

If I am not doing that along with suggesting a practical, reasonable alternative path

and ideas as to how to get there

then I’m not really being constructive

in the way that I would like to be

 

So, here is my revised writing about today

about the World at Large

right now

 

We are all feeling hurt

and scared

and isolated

 

Everything has changed, so much

so quickly

for everyone

 

And, I feel like

collectively

we all did a pretty good job of maintaining communities and sanity during these crazy times

and we will go back to doing those things, soon

 

The world will not end today

nor will it end tomorrow

 

unless we get attacked by aliens or something

 

Tensions will cool

and we will learn

from this experience

 

Even if it doesn’t seem like we will

we always do

even if just a little bit

 

And, once we are no longer sheltering in place

it will become less work to remember empathy

 

Because

 

when we are out in the world, every day

we are reminded of it

with every smile we exchange with a stranger,

a friend

a coworker

 

we are reminded of it with every act of kindness we witness

with every hug we give, or receive

 

we are reminded of it

every time we meet the eyes of someone who is Other

and, in that shared moment

between those two pairs of eyes

something is communicated

something like “I see you”

 

It is possible to feel empathy, even through computer screens

but it must be sought

 

It does not find us, then, like it does in Real Life

We must find it

 

Maybe I will end up expanding this complaint/constructive criticism idea

to encompass all forms of criticism

 

Maybe it is possible to strive for a way of living

a way of being and of teaching

 

that focuses on the ways to be better

on the ways to be more right

instead of less wrong

 

or waits until it is possible to do so

before attempting to fix things

 

if that makes sense

 

I think I will keep that thought in mind

 

and begin experimentation.

 

good night, all.

brooke

I spent three years living on the street in Los Angeles. I came out of that, changed. This is my story.

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